TDC & HIVE: BBC Earth’s Spectacular Melbourne Exhibit

Published: December 21, 2023
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Visitors to the BBC Earth Experience in Melbourne are being transported on an incredible journey through the natural world. The BBC Earth Experience is an immersive exhibition narrated by the Sir David Attenborough which has recently opened at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Australia.

Produced in collaboration with Moon Eye Productions, Live Nation, BBC Studio and Tinker Imagineers, the multi-room digital art experience guides visitors through Earth’s diverse ecosystems across seven continents.

TDC Selects BeeBlade Media Server Technology from HIVE

What sets Melbourne’s BBC Earth Experience apart is the playback technology used for this installation. Australian video technology and production supplier, TDC, harnessed the innovative BeeBlade media server from HIVE to power the entire project.

Michael Hassett, managing director, TDC explains, “The main difference is that we’re inserting the HIVE players in the projectors and the great thing about that is it saves a lot of space and power. There’s no cable distribution system, no control room, just the media player in the projectors in the venue.”

The entire exhibit is equipped with 70 Panasonic projectors with 55 creating the central 360-degree high resolution immersive panorama comprising over 127 million pixels. HIVE software enables the precise positioning and timing of every single one of them.

“Having accepted our proposal for using HIVE media servers, Moon Eye Productions brought us in to provide the media engines for this project,” explains Hassett. “We took a great deal of responsibility for that delivery, especially because the HIVE product was not well known to them, given that different media solutions had been used in London.”

Hassett’s discovery of HIVE, initially from industry whispers and further impressed by their involvement in London’s Frameless project, has led to a synergy and understanding of the BeeBlade solution. The direct integration with projectors eliminates the need for extensive cabling, reduces both energy usage and project budgets and ushers in an era of eco-conscious technology.

“The SDM technology was something that really interested me,” he says. “I had heard of some development of this, and then when I learned that Panasonic had integrated an SDM slot into some of their projector models – this led me back to looking at HIVE as the product for this BBC Earth Experience project.

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The price point is also very favorable,” Hassett continues, “and while the HIVE products might not have the ‘bells and whistles’ offered by other solutions – for this and other projects, we don’t always need them. It sometimes just requires good, reliable, high resolution playback.”

The HIVE products were sold to Moon Eye Productions and then installed directly into the projectors at Panasonic Europe’s facility in Wiesbaden, Germany. From there, they were delivered to Melbourne for installation, which was undertaken by Faber Audiovisuals.

A New Approach to Digital Storytelling

This is the latest digital art installation for TDC following the technical design and engineering of projects for the Australian Museum, Australian National Maritime Museum and the upcoming Dream Circus at Luna Park, Sydney.

“The fusion of technologies at Melbourne’s BBC Earth Experience are harbingers of a new, greener, and transformative approach to digital storytelling,” adds Hassett. “It is an evolutionary leap, saving time, money and the planet.”

Click ‘View Slideshow’ to see additional photos of the BBC Earth Experience in Melbourne. All images courtesy of

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